We all see it in the news and social media, the various leaders of the world arriving in luxury and often the newest private aircraft known to man, but who has the best? With tensions running high between N.Korea and the US, does Donald’s choice in aircraft trump Kim Jong-un’s? What kind of airplane does the Queen of England choose to take her tea in? So many questions unanswered, until now. In this article, Flex Air will examine the private jets of world leaders and find out once and for all who has the best.
Recently, a meeting between Kim Jong-un and President Trump took place in Singapore. Jong-un may or may not have been aboard his Ilyushin Il-62M, a jet operated by state airline Air Koryo. Theories speculate that he may travel using the jet as a decoy for safety and make his way to events aboard an Air China 747. What we do know is if the N.Korean leader does travel aboard the Ilyushin, he is traveling in style.
As one of the eight planes in Air Koryo’s fleet, the jet is an older Soviet model aircraft (39 years older). The model features a range of around 10 thousand Kilometers and can accommodate approximately 180 passengers making it a huge aircraft, the wingspan itself, is 43.2 meters. So how does it compare to the Donald’s? President Trump now travels using Air Force One, which is a modified Boeing 747-200B. The aircraft has a modern communications center, medical suite and separate cabins for journalists. It has a gym, offices, and a bedroom. However, like Kim’s the aircraft is dated having been delivered to the US Air Force in 1990. So far, from our knowledge of what amenities and accommodations are on board Air Force One, and the lack thereof in terms of what is on Kim’s we can conclude the winner here is President Trump.
But how do we determine a true winner? Well, let us discuss what other aircraft are being used by the other leaders we frequently see in the media.
The Queen of England, for instance, fly’s in not just one aircraft, but has a fleet of aircraft. Using the 32nd squadron of the Royal Air Force, she has access to two AW109 helicopters, six BAE-125s as well as four larger BAE-146s. Depending on the number of people included in their entourage for travel, the British Royal Family also sometimes leases Boeing 747s and 777s from British Airways or Virgin Atlantic. Both the British Royal Family and the UK Prime Minister use 10 different Airbus A330s as well. The aircraft Teresa May frequently travels in is modified to include a journalist area, 58 luxury seats for traveling ministers and staff as well as an ability to refuel in the air. This jet alone is newer than both Trump’s and Kim’s.
As far as Putin’s preferred travel means, he typically flies in an IL-96-300PU. The Russian made aircraft has a wide body, radar jammer, and telecommunications center as well as an interior decorated in gold leaf. Like AFO it too has a gym and office.
Other country leaders included in the list are:
The leader of the People’s Republic of China, Xi Jinping does not fly in his aircraft but instead uses, two Boeing 747-400s that belong to Air China. Seats are removed and replaced when normal commercial operations take place and to make room for when the leader travels and needs his living room, bedroom and office available.
Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel, also has a fleet of aircraft at her disposal the most widely known as the Konrad Adenauer. This Lufthansa Airbus A340 was modified to include a VIP space, bedrooms, and anti-missile defense technology. Among the fleet is also two Airbus A319s and a Bombardier Global 5000 as well as a Eurocopter AS532.
The French presidential aircraft, flown by Emmanuel Macron, is an Airbus A330-200. This modified model includes a bedroom, dressing room, kitchen, office, and soundproof negotiation room. It also has space for traveling journalists. The presidential fleet also includes two Dassault Falcon 7Xs.
The last in our comparison is one of the most wealthy people on the planet, the Emir of Qatar. Having a huge fleet of aircraft at his disposal including two Airbus A320s, two A330s, and two Boeing 747-8s, can transport an entourage of as many as 1000 people. Once arriving in Japan with 10 jets and his entire posse, the VIP airline Qatar Amiri Flight is comprised of 14 aircraft and many more the leader can lease.
So who wins?
In our determination, Flex Air has come to the conclusion that the winner of the best private jet for world leaders is a tie. Many leaders still travel in the tried and true Airbus A300 family of aircraft, while others prefer alternate means. What can be concluded is having a fleet of private aircraft at your disposal must feel pretty nice. Oh, to be powerful!
Unfortunately, owning, leasing or chartering a private jet does not make you a world leader, however, it can make air travel extremely convenient. With Flex Air Charters, you too, can have a private fleet at the ready to make your travel that much more luxurious! If you need private air travel or simply want to know how it feels to be a global power, contact Flex Air!